School choice funding account bill tabled

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School choice funding account bill tabled

After a weekend’s worth of thought, the legislators supporting the idea for state aid to be sent out of public school districts with students decided it wasn’t ready for passage.


“I think there’s just too many things we’re not going to get pulled in line this year,” Rep. Kalep Weis said of his legislation, House Bill 1258, which provides for child safety accounts for students subject to certain safety incidents.


House Education committee members tabled the bill on a 10-3 vote on Monday (2/24) following the bill having a nearly full hearing on Friday, February 21.


At the February 21 hearing, Sen. Phil Jensen testified that if “parents feel whatever reason” the public school district is possibly unsafe for their student they can pull them out of school and the school district would be required to deposit the student’s portion of state aid into an account that would follow them wherever they chose to go.


“That’s what we’re pushing is school choice here,” Sen. Jensen said.


ASBSD is opposed to the bill with Executive Director Wade Pogany raising points of contention during his opponent testimony including the lack of definition of what a safety incident is, what is considered an unsatisfactory resolution by the school and, most importantly, the use of state dollars for sectarian education purposes is “by clear definition…unconstitutional.


For updates from the 2020 legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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